Opening day is almost here! As a Boston Red Sox fan, I can’t wait until the regular season begins. Last season was unbearable to watch at times. Who am I kidding? It was tough just to get past the first month of the regular season last year.
Here are some reasons I am excited for the 2013 season for the Boston Red Sox:
No more Bobby Valentine
I had an open mind when the Red Sox hired Bobby last year. When I saw things to go south right in the beginning of last year some doubts started to creep in. Granted following in the footsteps of Terry Francona would be hard for anyone especially since Terry guided the team to two World Series Championships.
Yet the more and more I saw of Bobby calling out players, poor management skills, and quick to anger mentality with the media I was fed up. So I am glad the Red Sox have a new skipper in John Farrell for the start of this year.
Xander is one of the up and coming players that should shine for the Red Sox. The Boston coaching staff has been taking a deep look at Bogaerts and could get the call up from their minor league system this year. Boston may even keep him on the team for the beginning of this year due to some key injuries that Boston such as David Ortiz and Stephen Drew.
Looking to be the ace for Boston, Lester should have a great season. He has the confidence of the team and pitching staff behind him to have an MVP type season. So far in the games he played this preseason he is looking sharp. Lester knows that he will be the ace and should be able to handle that pressure especially playing in tough market like Boston.
American League East is Up for Grabs
Usually it is a race between Boston and the New York Yankees for the number one spot in the AL East. This year it seems that each team in the East has a great shot of having a successful season. I am most interested to see how the Red Sox match up with the Baltimore Orioles this year.
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Yet another Red Sox prospect that is making the team take notice is Jackie Bradley Jr. This young player has a great confidence in his ability to play on both the offensive and defensive sides. With David Ortiz still having issues with his legs, Bradley Jr. could have a legitimate shot at starting a few games.
No Chicken and Beer Mentality
Part of the joke in Boston was that players recently were playing video game, eating fried chicken, and drinking beer in the dugout. With leaders like Dustin Pedroia and the new manager John Farrell, the team should be right on track to being a team with focus and determination to get back to the World Series.
It was sad to see Kevin Youkilis leave Boston, but the issues he had with last year’s manager Bobby Valentine made him leave the team. Part of last year Kevin played for the Chicago White Sox and in the off season, Youkilis was signed by the New York Yankees. Earlier this year Kevin said he would always be a Red Sox player at heart. I know when he comes up at bat in Boston he will get a warm welcome even if he will be wearing a Yankees uniform.
Formerly a pitching coach for Boston, Farrell left to be the Toronto Blue Jays manager from 2011-2012. Now Farrell is back with the Red Sox and knows this team inside and out. Farrell will make sure the team stays in shape both physically and mentally this year. I expect great things from him as the new manager for Boston.
Red Sox – Yankees Rivalry
Yes even though I said the AL East is wide open this year and it is not the typical Yankees and Red Sox pennant race, you have to love when these teams play. I always make it a point to watch the Red Sox take on their dreaded rivals from New York. The games may take four hours, but each game feels like it is a postseason game.
Dustin Pedroia, who plays second base for the Red Sox, has become one of the leaders in Boston’s clubhouse. He is small in stature, but his heart is huge and he has a passion for winning that is contagious. He was injured a bit last year, but he was still with the team to help mentor other players. Pedroia is the glue that keeps the team together and makes sure his other teammates don’t get too high or too low during the long regular season.
Art Eddy grew up in New Hampshire and has been a Red Sox fan for many years.